Ranch dressing is the most popular salad dressing in the U.S. for good reason. This is the best Dill Pickle Ranch Dressing because it tastes so fresh and is restaurant-quality!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- The balance between sour cream, mayo, and buttermilk gives that classic restaurant-quality ranch flavor
- The fresh herbs give it even more flavor but dried herbs work well too
- It’s creamy and tangy
- It takes 5 minutes to make
- It tastes good on salads, as a dip, or a sauce
- It’s so much better than bottled ranch
- I do give you a shortcut option if you want to jazz up bottled ranch dressing
How to make the base for ranch dressing
Believe it or not, the base ingredients (dairy and mayo) will make or break your ranch dressing. I tested several variations of bases for this recipe and only one trio tasted like a true restaurant-quality ranch with a dill pickle flavor. I tried to strike the right balance of flavor and consistency whilst keeping the ingredient list simple.
- Test 1: Equal Parts Mayo, Greek Yogurt, and Sour Cream didn’t have that classic ranch flavor
- Test 2: Half Mayo, Half Sour Cream had a nice consistency but tasted too much like mayo
- Test 3: Half Greek Yogurt, Half Sour Cream tasted too much like tzatziki dip instead of ranch
- Test 4: Equal Parts Mayo, Sour Cream, and Buttermilk –> We have a winner!!
But do I really have to use buttermilk?
I tried to avoid using it in this recipe because you can’t really find buttermilk in small cartons so you either have to make pancakes with it or throw it out, which is wasteful. But trust me, when I left it out, it didn’t taste like restaurant-quality ranch.
No amount of fresh herbs, pickles, and pickle juice made up for the lack of subtle flavor buttermilk yields.
Even Hidden Valley Ranch, the most popular brand of ranch dressing, uses buttermilk in their recipe. So if it doesn’t have buttermilk, it just doesn’t taste as good!
What can I sub for Buttermilk?
Technically you can make your own buttermilk with regular milk and lemon juice or vinegar. You stir them together and let the milk curdle for a few minutes. This will work, but the homemade buttermilk will be a thinner consistency than store-bought buttermilk.
I feel like the richness of store-bought buttermilk works best for this recipe because all the ingredients are served as-is, so you notice if one ingredient is different.
What kind of consistency does this dill pickle ranch have?
- The one caveat to using buttermilk is that it makes a slightly thinner consistency to the dressing
- You can use half sour cream and half mayo instead to make it thicker, but it won’t taste quite right
- It’s still the perfect consistency for salad dressing and a dip for fried pickles and fried green tomatoes though
Can I make dill pickle ranch with store-bought dressing?
Yes you can! Just add fresh or dried dill, pickle juice, and chopped pickles to store-bought ranch if you already have it on hand. It won’t be quite as good as homemade, but it’s still delicious!
What do I serve with dill pickle ranch dressing?
- Serve with salads that have cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, radishes, crunchy lettuce, etc.
- Fried Pickles with Dill Pickle Ranch Dressing, the perfect match!
- Fried Green Tomatoes with Dill Pickle Ranch, SO GOOD (pictured below)!
Bon Appetit Ya’ll,
The Best Dill Pickle Ranch Dressing
- 2 TBSP dill pickles chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup mayonnaise preferably full-fat
- ½ cup sour cream preferably full-fat
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp pickle juice
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 TBSP fresh dill chopped finely or 1 tsp dried dill
- salt and pepper to taste
Homemade Dill Pickle Ranch Dressing
- Mix the ½ cup mayo, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 tsp pickle juice, 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill), ½ tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper, together with a fork or whisk in a small bowl. Stir in the chopped dill pickles. Adjust seasoning if need be.
- Store in an airtight container for up to one week in the fridge.
Shortcut: Dill Pickle Ranch Using Store-Bought Ranch
- Add 1 ½ cups store-bought ranch in a bowl with 2 tsp pickle juice, 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill), ½ tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper, together with a fork or whisk. Stir in the chopped dill pickles. Adjust seasoning if need be.